Mind + Muscle

technical minds + legal muscle




Sterne Kessler is committed to diversity and inclusion. Our people are encouraged to voice their ideas and to be themselves. Our firm aims to provide a workplace that is reflective of our global client base and the diverse cultural mix of the greater Washington, D.C., area in which we live and work. In doing so, we place a premium on talented lawyers with advanced degrees and expertise in intellectual property, irrespective of their race, gender, religious views, sexual orientation, or other personal attributes. And, we value the quality of the individual, and the unique capabilities and experiences they bring to the table.

At Sterne Kessler, diversity is about understanding one another and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating differences. Our work reflects the diversity of ideas and experiences that characterize our social, cultural and intellectual world. Sterne Kessler encourages our people to identify, develop, and leverage their unique strengths. This culture is demonstrated by numerous accolades. In 2010 and 2011, we were recognized by The National Law Journal as the firm with the most diverse partnership in the DC Metro area; Washington Business Journal named us one of the Top 50 best companies to work for in the Greater Washington area in 2014-2012, 2009 and 2005; and Working Mother Magazine named Sterne Kessler as one of the Best Law Firms for Women in 2009.

A specific steering committee is charged with furthering Sterne Kessler’s vision of diversity and inclusion. The Diversity Committee is comprised of employees from every tier within the firm, including staff, attorneys of all levels, our managing director, and one of our founding directors, Rob Sterne. The makeup and activities of the Committee reflect our firm’s serious commitment to ensure a culture of mutual respect and understanding. The Committee supports various initiatives that foster diversity and inclusion, including recruiting and mentoring, programs for career development and advancement, and targeted outreach and affinity groups.  These initiatives seek to build and strengthen relationships among our people while celebrating their differences.

Internal diversity programs include INSPIRED - by the women of Sterne Kessler, a women's affinity group that hosts periodic roundtables and topical discussions.  We participate in and sponsor a number of organizations that promote diversity across our local, legal, and technical communities including:

(1) Great People

Anthony A. Davis

Facilities Manager

When Tony is on the green, he can bring the ball within inches of the pin.  But when he is off the golf course, "green" is still on his mind.  Tony is a driving force behind the firm's efforts to reduce its environmental impact.

More About Anthony

R. Wilson Powers III, Ph.D.


Trey is no stranger to the ocean.  While working towards his Ph.D. at the University of Washington he raced sailboats frequently.  After finishing his doctorate, Trey competed in the Pacific Cup ocean race which begins in San Francisco and ends in Hawaii.  Trey grew up sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and has been racing competitively ever since.

More About R. Wilson

Bonnie Nannenga-Combs, Ph.D.


Although Bonnie is a talented associate in the Biotechnology/Chemical Group, her talent really shines on canvas.  She began oil painting in college as an art minor and soon expanded her artistic interests to attending pottery classes, as well as painting still lifes and landscapes.

More About Bonnie

Gaby L. Longsworth, Ph.D.


Retaining and advancing female lawyers is important to Gaby.  She is seeking innovative ways to address implicit gender stereotypes and participates in activities organized by groups like Women in Biology and the Women's Bar Association of DC.   Gaby is also one of the organizers of INSPIRED by the Women of Sterne Kessler.

More About Gaby

Michelle K. Holoubek


Michelle not only has a degree in physics but a passion for astronomy.  She uses her Meade Lightbridge telescope to view a variety of deep sky objects including star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae.  Michelle stargazes as a member of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club.

More About Michelle

Salvador M. Bezos


Sal has perfected the art of work-life balance.  In addition to his work as a Director in the Electronics Group, he serves on the Industrial Technology Advisory Committee for Fairfax County Public Schools.

More About Salvador

(2) Why Washington D.C.?

Why Washington D.C.?

In the middle of it all, our office is located near government agencies, courts and organizations dedicated to Intellectual Property law.

(3) Awards + Accolades

  • Named by Corporate Counsel magazine as a “2013 Go-To Law Firm® for the Top 500 Companies.”
  • Recognized by the Washington Business Journal as one of the top 50 best companies to work for in the Greater Washington area in 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2014.
  • Ten Sterne Kessler directors were named "IP Stars" by Managing Intellectual Property's IP Handbook in 2013 and 2014.
  • Sterne Kessler was named to The National Law Journal's Intellectual Property Hot List in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
  • Sterne Kessler has been included in IAM Patent 1000 2013 and 2014 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners, an extensive guide honoring leading private practice patent professionals.
  • Ranked in 2014 for the twelfth consecutive year by Chambers & Partners USA as one of America’s leading firms in IP.

(4) Firm Milestones

In a patent trial, the way the lawyer frames the question at issue will condition the jury's understanding of the science.
Defining the question is what
Sterne Kessler does best.


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